Companies are swiftly adopting digital technology, with the whole industry moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) or Industry 4.0. The ultimate end goal of almost all industries is to be self-sustainable, with automation at its core eventually like the Skyscraper Window Washing Robots. Subsequently, the industry has to adapt and integrate robotic technology in its operational process to reach this goal.
Robotics technology is rapidly evolving in both accessibility and usability. With this evolution, the technology is getting better and more usable, but the robotics market is also more valuable. Consequently, the robotics industry is currently one of the biggest markets of the technology paradigm.
In hindsight, the market also reflects this favorable shift of the industry towards robotics technology. As a result, researchers forecast that the global robotic industry market was more than 27 Billion US Dollars in 2020, with the other estimation that it will cross 74 Billion US Dollars by 2026. This increase in the market value represents an annual increase of more than 17%.
Furthermore, these figures will only increase in rate and estimation in the future post-COVID-19 pandemic era where work-from-home and remote technology is experiencing an enormous boost in development, accessibility, and adoption.
Robotics especially shines in industries where the work is either reparative or dangerous. Industries see this in retrospect in which various industries and production use robotic technology to achieve automation in repetitive and potentially dangerous tasks. For example, in the cleaning industry, skyscraper window cleaning is a hazardous task. With skyscrapers towering very high, the workers usually have to climb onto a platform that is hanging potentially even a hundred floors above with the support of a couple of wires.
Cleaning windows properly is just one of the problems when you are dangling hundreds of floors above the ground. With such high risk, the window cleaning industry rides on workers with steel nerves and a good cleaning capability. Although this business is lucrative, the lack of such workers and even companies that perform such risky jobs. The industry is also declining due to the same reason. With over 40 Billion US Dollars worth of market revenue every year, the window cleaning industry faces a lack of young talents to replace the old and trusty workers. The fact that above 74% of workers with training for such jobs are over 40 years old reflects this problem. Consequently, although a lucrative business, it's a dangerous job facing a severe lack of replacement workers.
One of the primary solutions to this problem is to remove workers from the task altogether. Therefore, replacing the window cleaning workers with robots is one of the possible solutions to eliminate human risk and increase efficiency and potential. Hence, window cleaning robots are growing in popularity in this business.
But to know how this all works, we first have to know about robots.
What is a Robot?
A robot is a programmable machine that can automatically perform specific tasks or take particular actions without requiring human assistance.
People usually imagine robots as machines with humanoid shapes with high intelligence, at least that is the depiction of robots in media and science fiction. But unlike robots in popular media and science fiction cultures, robots come in different forms, sizes, and uses. Furthermore, a robot is any machine with some level of processing power and can perform specific tasks without needing human intervention.
Read more: How DeepMind Is Reinventing Robotics!
For instance, the disk-shaped machine/device that cleans the floor automatically while moving on its own and avoiding obstacles is a robot. Similarly, various toy robots and robotic kits are already available in the consumer market. Drones are also a type of robot that can fly autonomously, balance themselves and follow directions from human operators. Apart from the consumer market, robots are also widely in use in industrial settings. The most widespread use of robotic technology and robots is seen in industries and production sites.
A robot is not a singular device or a machine; instead, it combines various components, systems, and incoherence to perform multiple tasks. These components include sensors, processors, storage systems, power supplies, mechanical parts like wheels, arms, chains, cameras, actuators, rotors, motors, etc. These components, devices, and systems work together efficiently to behave like a singular unit and perform various tasks with collaboration and communication.
With the advancement of technology, various systems, including sensors, processing power, battery power, storage systems, motors, actuator systems, and digital systems, are getting more modern and efficient. With the constant evolution of these components, they are increasingly getting complex. However, increasing complexity also increases the ease of use, efficiency, and capability of these components. The whole robotic engineering paradigm reflects this increase with robots getting smarter, more capable, and more efficient in performing various tasks and jobs with increasing levels of autonomy.
The Case of Skyscraper Window Washing Robots
Skyscrapers are, as their name reflects, very tall and usually stand over 150 meters high. On the other hand, mega-skyscrapers are well over 600 meters in height with more than hundreds of floors. These skyscrapers also require a vast amount of maintenance, including cleaning their windows. But these skyscrapers are so tall that regular cleaners cannot clean them. So they need professional window cleaners.
Professional window cleaners usually stand atop a platform hanging beside skyscrapers and are controllable by a crane. This crane can take them downwards or upwards and sideways across the building. Although the media onto which the workers stand to have railings for safety, it still hangs above hundreds of floors above where one small mistake or mishap can end horribly. Besides these factors, the weather is also a significant factor that can increase the risk of window washing, especially if it is a windy season. So it is a pretty risky job from every corner possible.
Moreover, besides the danger of hanging beside such tall buildings, window cleaning is also a challenging job, with few workers even willing to climb onto the platform that's dangling hundreds of meters above the ground. This same case is why this business is so lucrative in the first place. Unfortunately, this is also becoming why new recruitments are getting complicated. With over 74% of the trained professional window washers being over 40 decades old, the replacement rate with young blood is thin.
Even if one does not fear heights, the job has a significant risk of losing their life, making it unattractive to many. The risk factor is very unfavorable with humans on the scale.
How Robots Make Skyscraper Window Washing More Safe?
Right off the bat, when robots are the ones cleaning the skyscraper windows, we can eliminate the risks of having humans on platforms besides the skyscrapers. When robots are replacing almost every human labor, it is essential to look into this factor where the risk of losing life is more than human labor. It will significantly reduce the risks along with having massive leverage if something does go wrong. Thus, we can remove the heavyweight of having potential dangers for humans.
With robots, maintenance along with cleaning is straightforward to perform. With the advancement in remote technology or even autonomous technology, window cleaning robots can leverage this by being controllable by humans or even independent at their tasks. With robots, workers can permanently bolt or fix the robots onto the lift mechanisms, significantly reducing the time consumption that would otherwise be used in checking harnesses or straps for human workers. It will reduce the turnaround times between jobs and save time significantly.
Not only will window cleaning become safer, but it will also become more efficient and fast while consuming fewer resources. Another significant advantage of using window cleaning robots is the economic benefit. These robots can work at almost any condition without stopping and even multiple robots for faster turnaround times between different jobs. As a result, it will undoubtedly bring more returns from the investment.
It will increase the work capacity of window cleaning companies and make the whole gig more economical for consumers. It will also be fascinating for the skyscraper owner to see the robot cleaning the window rather than being guilty of risking human life. Meaning it will attract more consumers and even less time between the cleaning cycles. It will increase the market value and revenue of the whole industry altogether.
FS Studio, therefore, provides robotic services like Offline Robotic Programming or even robot training and software development that can cater to the window cleaning business. FS Studio’s collective experience and knowledge from decades of research and development with solutions like Robotic Simulation Services alongside emerging technologies like AR and VR.
With expertise in Artificial Intelligence and technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Big Data, FS Studio provides intuitive solutions for product development and innovative R&D technologies. FS Studio offers cutting-edge solutions for present problems and issues. It also empowers its clients with solid solutions that will also help them solve and tackle future challenges.
Skyscraper window washing robots are a massive step for window washing companies. They are safer, efficient, and cost-effective on top of enabling new opportunities and possibilities not only in end jobs but also on business fronts. With the Industry 4.0 approach, industries are transforming themselves towards digital technology to strive for automation. This goal relies heavily on robotic technology that enables intuitive solutions like skyscraper window washing robots.